Artist's Statement

Bob Newman

This long-term project focuses on the Mississippi Delta. These images document the challenges and culture within marginalized communities, which are often similar to the underprivileged, lower socio-economic class patients he enjoyed serving while a physician.

The Delta stretches about 200 miles long and 87 miles wide from Tunica south to Vicksburg. Some call it “The Most Southern Place on Earth” due to its racial and cultural history. Much of its population is poor, both white and black. While there has always been a significant black population, about 400,000 African American’s migrated north during the Great Migration of the early 20th Century (1916-1970) mainly due to discrimination and racial segregation. Though Jim Crow laws were not enforced after 1965, de-facto segregation and discrimination remain for both the poor black and white elements of the population.

Bayous, flooding, violence, and abandoned and run-down houses are commonplace in the Delta. People frequent card parlors, and pool halls, and some still attend church on a regular basis. Children play in junk-strewn yards and in make-do swimming holes.

The series paints a photographic picture of the Delta People, their challenges and their culture. A Sony A9 mirrorless camera was used to capture the images, before rendering 11 X 17 archival ink jet prints.